TAHC to discontinue brucellosis testing at markets

Jun 24, 2011
by WLJ

The Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) has announced that effective Aug. 1, 2011, government subsidized brucellosis testing at all Texas livestock markets will be discontinued due to a lack of funding available to pay for future testing. TAHC will no longer enforce the requirement that all test eligible (adult) cattle be brucellosis tested for a change of ownership within Texas.

After diligently working to eradicate brucellosis “Bangs” from cattle for almost 50 years, on Feb. 1, 2008, USDA declared Texas brucellosis free. “The discontinuation of brucellosis testing will not affect Texas’ Brucellosis-free state status,” Dr. Dee Ellis, state veterinarian, said. “We remind Texas producers, marketers and veterinarians, however, that maintaining a brucellosisfree Texas requires constant awareness and vigi lance.

Although the TAHC will no longer enforce the requirement for brucellosis testing of adult cattle, cattle producers are encouraged to discuss the issue with their veterinary practitioner prior to purchasing replacement cattle,” Ellis said.

Brucellosis is a bacterial disease of cattle that can cause abortions, weak calves and low milk production. Humans can also catch brucellosis (undulant fever), most commonly by consuming unpasteurized milk products or handling contaminated birthing material when assisting with difficult calving situations in infected cows.

For questions or concerns regarding the termination of brucellosis testing at livestock markets, please contact your local region office. Contact information for regional TAHC offices can be found at www.tahc.state.tx.us. — WLJ